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How Domestic Violence Can Impact Divorce and Parenting Time in Illinois

Illinois is currently a no-fault divorce state, so domestic violence is no longer considered legal grounds for a divorce. However, abuse can still affect various aspects of a divorce, including parenting time, property division, and certain legal penalties that abusers may face.

If a spouse has been the victim of domestic violence and is seeking a divorce in Illinois, the following are several ways this could impact the case.

Parenting Time

Although domestic violence won’t typically be enough to restrict parenting time for an abusive spouse entirely, it can still play a significant role in determining parenting time. If a child has undergone abuse and the court believes that his or her safety is in jeopardy, supervised parenting time may be required. The court will only deny parenting time completely in rare instances.

Parents who are awarded the majority of parenting time will be more likely to receive the child support payments needed to cover the costs of raising the children.

Division of Property

In Illinois, property division will be equitable and fair as Illinois is an equitable distribution state. Subsequently, judges will likely do what they can to keep spouses protected from any abuse of finances or unfair distribution of marital assets, provided the spouse has obtained an order of protection against an abusive spouse.

If an order of protection is in place, the courts may help prevent the abusive spouse from selling any property or acquiring any profits from the other spouse’s sale of marital assets. Courts may also deny abusive spouses access to property entirely.

Impacts on the Abuser

Domestic violence is a criminal offense in Illinois, as defined by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. As a result, criminal charges may be brought against offending spouses for violating the law or an order of protection. While abuse could result in legal penalties for the abusive spouse, these matters will be resolved in the criminal court system as opposed to the civil court system.

These are just some of the ways that domestic violence may affect the outcome of a divorce and distribution of parenting time and property. By gathering sufficient evidence, spouses may be able to prove instances of abuse, which may impact a divorce in Illinois.

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